Chinese businessmen ‘complied with quarantine measures’ – 10 PNG cases

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James Marape
Prime Minister James Marape ... defends arrival of four Chinese businessmen without quarantine. Image: EMTV News

By Adelaide Sirox Kari in Port Moresby

Papua New Guinean Prime Minister James Marape says an aircraft with four Chinese businessmen on board had complied with requirements before they were allowed to fly into Port Moresby.

The government has also confirmed that another case of covid-19 has been detected in Papua New Guinea – a second soldier, taking the country’s total to 10.

Responding to questions from EMTV News, Marape said that no quarantine measure was broken as the Chinese businessmen came in under the request of Minister Wera Mori and measure no. 2 paragraph 12 was used to allow them not to quarantine – but instead self-quarantine in a hotel while conducting business.

READ MORE: PNG military in lockdown over covid spread fears

The four Chinese nationals were tested 14 days prior to their arrival, with the results negative, allowing them to arrive under strict self-quarantine measures.

The Prime Minister’s comments come after the opposition Peoples’ National Congress Party (PNC) leader and former prime minister Peter O’Neill called on Marape to state clearly their business of travel and why the 14-day quarantine period did not apply to the four foreigners.

Marape also said that at some point the country needed to open its border to allow for business to operate normally. This would be the first step.

Murray Barracks soldier positive
RNZ News reports that Police Commissioner David Manning had said the new covid-19 case was a 27-year old member of the PNG Defence Force, who worked at the Murray Barracks in Port Moresby.

The case was picked up during mass testing of staff at the barracks where PNG’s 9th case was recorded last week in a visiting Australian soldier.

“The identification of this case provides evidence of local transmission in Port Moresby and the risk is very high that more cases may be identified in the coming days. Papua New Guineans need to take responsibility and remain vigilant to stop the chain of transmission,” Manning said.

“The country needs to work together to apply the ‘Niupela Pasin’ or the ‘new normal’. This will involve changing our old ways of doing things and replacing them with behaviours and actions to reduce risk of getting infection.”

The commissioner has urged people in the PNG capital to maintain social distancing and avoid mass gatherings.

Meanwhile, Manning said that PNG’s 9th covid-19 case had safely returned to Australia.

Adelaide Sirox Kari is an EMTV News reporter.

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